Intrigued by the Matt Slick discussions I was pondering the spell that certain labels like 'absolute' can put on people. Just the existence of the word seems enough to convince some of the truth of their suggestive meaning. In general, absolute truth is that what is always valid, regardless of context. The absolute in the term connotes one or more of the folowing: 'ultimate', 'complete', 'unvarying', 'permanent', 'essential' or 'valid in all possible worlds'. In an earlier post I contended that all logical statements depend on the logical framework within which they are used.
Then why does our universe looks so logical, one might ask. All seems to fit together, somehow. The answer, in short, is that the choice of logical framework usually is instigated by the practical coherence between the logic and the phenomena in reality we try to understand. Usually we choose the logic that best fits the problem, so all kinds of internally complete yet impracticle logical frameworks get weeded out in our thinking process about the grand pattern we try to see in nature. The beauty of thought is however that it is not necessarily restricted to logical frameworks that fit to what we think is nature. We can and have thought up logical frameworks that don't (yet) make sense in nature. Moreover in mathematics there is a certain tradition of thinking up seemingly unpracticle logical frameworks, while in physics there seems to be a tradition of making practicle use of seemingly unpracticle mathematical frameworks. This indeed has shown to be a very potent force in the scientific endeavour. On the other hand nature itself keeps surprising us with patterns that don't fit 'normal' logic. In reaction to that we (some of us at least) are not afraid to …yep, devise new logical frameworks that do fit. An example is quantum logic. As of yet however it is not clear how to reconcile the different regimes of logic that are needed to describe all of nature. Most strikingly, the logic of the world of the very small has not yet been reconciled with the world of the very large. These worlds seem to use different logical frameworks. This should not be an unfamiliar concept to ancient philosophers though. In the bible clear traces of different regimes governing 'above' and 'down here' can be identified. We have narrowed the gap thanks to Newton, Einstein and countless others, but we haven't come full swing. One could say that the attempts to tie together all the known facts about the universe into a single unified theory is a search for absolute truth about our reality. The latest news is that we haven't struck gold yet, so declaring absolute truths seems rather premature.
But that sounds like postmodernistic relativistic bullshit, I hear you say. Well, you are entitled to think so, but keep in mind that there is no conclusion here that reconciliation of the logical frameworks with which we describe nature is impossible. Now that would be a very premature conclusion indeed. All scientific effort essentially is part of this strive for reconciliation. That there is no reconciliation yet does not mean that reconciliation cannot be achieved. This only shows that we should be very sparse with labels like 'absolute', 'complete', 'ultimate' and 'truth'. These are all concepts of the human mind in need for verification/falsification. They may hold to a great extent in the conceptual realms of mathematics, logic and thought but they hold no intrinsic guarantee for their applicability to that what is.
Hello my name is Brian and I have been an atheist for awhile. I also lean towards a mystical pantheism but that is a whole nother subject. All I will say is that I don't like the word pantheism much because it has theism in it so I guess pandeist would be better? I think this is related to the concept of absolutes because theist like to hog all meaning when it comes to metaphysics. I think Deist believe God created the Universe then walked away or went to other projects.But theism puts God as an absolute so that when bringing up the concept of God you are given two choices in our society.
Either you can accept a mythological concept of God that both theist and atheist accept applies to polytheistic cultures or accept the theist definition of the absolute. In logical this is known as the fallacy of the "false alternative". Meaning that there is no third way of looking at it let alone a fourth way etc... The theist try to trap me every time into only using their definitions. If the Universe is God then God can not be "super" natural. I guess I see God the way I see the internet. If we didn't exist neither would the net. If we (conscious or sentient beings) didn't exist neither would God. The atheist debate with theist on whether we created God or God created us. To me the question is worse then the "What came first the chicken or the egg?" The answer to both seems like it should be almost the same.
Neither, they come from each other. The Universe is energy. This energy has the properties on consciousness. Some how the illusion of matter is formed. The consciousness then is somehow able to incarnate or enter and manipulate matter so matter now appears to be conscious. But if materialist or the common atheist accepted that matter "is" conscious why would they be so repulsed by pantheism? Since matter is just a collection of energy (which even physicist admit is composed more of empty space then actual solid anything) then it is like saying darkness is the absence of light. In other words light is the only real quality. Darkness is just the absence of this real thing called light.
So if we perceive darkness as something real existing of itself then we are perceiving an illusion.Darkness is real only in the sense that when it is dark outside we have a harder time seeing and may suffer the consequences. This is the same reason we accept the illusion of matter. It is simply easier to deal with this way. Our eyes don't adjust to the darkness. Our eyes adjust to the available light. Again this is because darkness like matter is an illusion. Before you go off on me. Hear me out on this one point.
I don't mean illusion like a typical atheist.The atheist like the theist usually accepts the absolutes as a given in debate. Either things "exist" absolutely or they are "illusion" absolutely. I am using illusion in the scientific sense such as a rainbow or other optical illusion. If you see a mirage you are seeing something maybe not a body of water but something. A rainbow may be an optical "illusion" but it is real in the sense that you are not imagining something that no one else can perceive. I see matter like I see a rainbow. They are both illusions. Most romantics don't want to be told to see rainbows as light reflected off of rain drops in the air.And most materialist don't want to accept what quantum physics says about the illusion of matter.
Even quantum physicist if they are materialist (as they typically are) don't want to see matter for what it is. For this reason Einstein himself had problems with quantum theory even though it wouldn't exist without him probably. Quantum physicist treat their "theory" in the same way ironically the same way creationist treat the Evolution "theory". As just a construct of the mind. Neither will face that matter is not an absolute any more than God is. Both our just a construct of the mind. They are real but not in the way we think they are. What I am trying to say is to the theist God is the Absolute. To materialist and most atheist Matter is the Absolute. To me Energy and Awareness is the same and all else is an illusion that individual consciousness(s) play with themselves.
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The ACA Lecture Series continues Sunday, October 11th at 12:15pm in the Austin History Center, 9th and Guadalupe. The building opens at noon. Texas Freedom Network's Dan Quinn will give us an update on their activities. The lecture is free and open to the public.